Montpelier native and current Ohio Lt. governor Jon Husted continues to champion tech in the Buckeye State, most recently with his “Common Sense Initative,” which will increase the role of AI in government.

The program, conducted in partnership with InnovateOhio, aims to to use artifical intelligence as a tool in reforming state regulations. Specifically, Husted hopes the tool will help maintain a minimal backlog of unreviewed rules at the state level.

“Ohio has over 200 years of rules and regulations that have been patched together in a way that no one person or team of people can fully understand them,” said Husted in a prepare statement. “With our new AI tool, any regulatory topic can be researched and analyzed in seconds. We are going to use this new tool to bring comprehensive regulatory reform to Ohio.”

A release from Husted’s office cites a 2018 report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which estimated that Ohio currently has over 240,000 regulations that would take a person 21 weeks to read.

“While there are many efforts attempted to ensure only necessary and reasonable rules remain on the books, the quantity makes it a near impossible task,” reads the release.

The project officially launched on Wednesday and was announced during a meeting of the Small Business Advisory Council. It is funded by the Ohio General Assembly in House Bill 166.

It is said to use text analytics and artificial intelligence in comparing and linking data sets—a task the release states could take humans months or years—and “provide government policymakers with opportunities to streamline regulations.”

The tool is also intended to more quickly sort data from the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and Ohio Administrative Code (OAC).

“In partnership with CSI staff, this will significantly hasten the process of deciding which regulations are truly necessary for the health and safety of Ohioans and which may be outdated, conflicting, or redundant,” stated the release.

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